The Boomers Are to Blame for Aging America – The Atlantic

June 24, 2019

Below, I show a reasonable projection of the share of national income that will have to be spent paying for these obligations in the future if there is no substantial restructuring of liabilities. It’s based on consensus forecasts from groups such as the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget for economic growth and for programs such as Social Security and Medicare where such forecasts are available—but in some cases, such as state debts and pensions, no such forecast was available, and so I developed a simple one.

Editor’s note: the graph rises from roughly 3% of GDP in 1950 to nearly 20% of GDP by 2040.

Source: The Boomers Are to Blame for Aging America – The Atlantic


Public Stock Ownership by Giacomo Corneo :: SSRN

February 23, 2019

The government of a country with a good financial reputation could borrow from the international capital market and use the proceeds to endow a sovereign wealth fund that mainly invests in the world stock market. In expectation, this country would gain the equity risk premium multiplied by the size of the fund. This gain could be earmarked to a social dividend. This paper deals with the conditions under which such a policy is welfare‐improving, discusses the optimal size of such a fund, and proposes an institutional framework for the management of public stock ownership.

Source: Public Stock Ownership by Giacomo Corneo :: SSRN


Welfare Reform and the Labor Market by Marc K. Chan, Robert A. Moffitt :: SSRN

September 18, 2018

This article reviews the basic theoretical models that are appropriate for analyzing different types of welfare reforms, as well as the related empirical literature. We first present the canonical labor supply model of a classical welfare program and then extend this basic framework to include in-kind transfers, incomplete take-up, human capital, preference persistence, and borrowing and saving. The empirical literature on these models is presented. The negative income tax, earnings subsidies, US welfare reforms with features that differ from those in other countries, and childcare reforms are then surveyed in terms of both the theoretical models and the empirical literature surrounding each.

via Welfare Reform and the Labor Market by Marc K. Chan, Robert A. Moffitt :: SSRN


The End of the Ramen Diet: Higher Education Students and SNAP Benefits by Erika Dunyak :: SSRN

September 18, 2018

Americans joke that college students have so little money that they subsist on 10 cent packs of ramen. Statistically, college students face much higher rates of food insecurity than the general population and the situation is particularly dire for students of color. Much has been written on this area in recent months and years and many commentators are seeking to denormalize poverty, hunger, and the “freshman 15” on campuses. This article will look to a solution for this hungry and often neglected population. In 2010, the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) reauthorized the Federal School Lunch Program. HHFKA contained several innovations, however, one that is particularly relevant is the “identified students” provision. Under this scheme, students whose families already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Medicaid, or are enrolled in several other federal assistance programs qualify for free or reduced-price school meals without a separate application. With the next iteration of the Farm Bill, SNAP should be adjusted to similarly accommodate low income college students. Under this new program, students who qualify for Perkins Loans, Federal Work Study, Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and similar federal programs would also receive SNAP benefits without an additional application. The benefits to such a program would be tremendous. In many states, college students are specifically excluded from receiving benefits such as SNAP and Medicaid. This policy change would move students away from food insecurity, reduce the burden of schools providing high quality dining experiences that are a major contributor to the cost of higher education, reduce student debt, and bring the political capital of university students to SNAP.

via The End of the Ramen Diet: Higher Education Students and SNAP Benefits by Erika Dunyak :: SSRN


Hashing it Out: Blockchain as a Solution for Medicare Improper Payments by William J. Blackford :: SSRN

September 18, 2018

Part I highlights the inadequacies and inefficiencies of our Medicare payment system, focusing on the initiatives currently in place and the susceptibilities that persist. Part II offers a broad overview of the development, importance, features, and collateral technologies surrounding blockchain. Part III posits that Congress and HHS, through its various subsidiary agencies, should work in tandem with private stakeholders to create and/or implement a blockchain-based infrastructure to facilitate federal healthcare payments and support future growth of quality-based initiatives. This Note concludes with a recommendation for future agency research focusing on the viability and cost efficiency of a blockchain solution.

via Hashing it Out: Blockchain as a Solution for Medicare Improper Payments by William J. Blackford :: SSRN


A Meta-Analysis of the Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate by Ananth Seshadri :: SSRN

September 16, 2018

This project explores the causes behind the recent decline in the Labor Force Participation (LFP) rate. The analysis examines the evolution of the LFP rate for different demographic groups to gauge the effect of demographic changes. An integral part of the project is an investigation of the flows of workers into and out of the labor force to determine whether the LFP rate has been declining because more workers are leaving or because fewer workers are entering the labor market. The project also studies the evolution of wages and finds that the decline in the LFP rate is often accompanied by a declining real wage, which is indicative of the relative importance of demand versus supply factors.

via A Meta-Analysis of the Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate by Ananth Seshadri :: SSRN


Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Disability Insurance by Soojin Kim, Serena Rhee :: SSRN

September 16, 2018

We study the aggregate consequences of the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program, focusing on the role of complementarity between heterogeneous human capital. First, we develop and estimate a wage process in which individuals’ human capital is composed of (pure) labor and work experience, and the two inputs are (differentially) affected by disability. We find that older workers are more experience-abundant and that disability causes a smaller loss in experience than it does in labor. Based on the estimates, labor and experience are complementary inputs in aggregate production. Combining these results with a structural general equilibrium model, we conduct quantitative analyses and find that the removal of DI increases the relative supply of experience, as more old individuals work. This compositional change in labor and experience lowers the labor productivity (despite higher employment and output) in the economy without DI, due to the complementarity between the two inputs.

via Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Disability Insurance by Soojin Kim, Serena Rhee :: SSRN